Will Rogers' Weekly Articles
WA341 July 7, 1929
PUT CAL TO WORK
Well all I know is just what I read in the papers, and the Magazines. You know if you want to get what Mr. Coolidge says, you got to get it in the Magazines. When he was just President you could read what he said in the newspapers for three cents. But since he is the Late Ex President why itís 35 cents. Not only Mr. Coolidge but all of our big men are breaking out in small thick periodicals.
I just last night read two very nice human stories, one in the American Magazine and the other in the Cosmopolitan, both of which Mr. Coolidge had written. One was on his life up around Plymouth notch Vermont. He told of his early school days, he said when he was three years old he knew his letters, and started to school at five and at twelve he knew as much as the Teacher, in fact he said he knew as much as any teachers up there. The way he kinder explained it he just was on the verge of being a Child Prodigy.
At twelve they sent him away to school at Ludlow. I was up through there and visited Plymouth and Ludlow and all those historic places, and Ludlow is just about two hills and a valley away, but in those days it constituted going some place. He paid a mighty fine tribute to the upbringing of the Country Boy, said if he had to be brought up again that he would just go ahead and be brought up in the same place. Course he knows how itís done now and the next time wouldent be so hard.
I never was President, I never was even a Senator. But so would I choose to be brought up where I was brought up. But I bet you there is a lot of things I did that you bet I would know better than to do them again. If I was going to be brought up again, the first thing I would specialize in would be boxing, then the next time I would just go through life getting even with a few that kinder hung it on me then.
He said it was winter and the snow was on the ground when he left for school and he went in a sleigh. Him and a Calf. The calf was going to market and him to Washington, (only then he dident know it). His whole story was a mighty human document. You know thatís one thing about Mr. Coolidge he has never been spoiled.
Then in the other Article he dwelled on his life in the White House. He could tell you the exact number of dinners that they entertained and the exact number they went out too. In fact he could tell you what they was supposed to eat at each place. Told about feeding the Senators and Congressmen at breakfasts at the White House. He laid particular stress on the fact that he fed some Democratic ones. He seemed to bring that out to show his liberality. Fed íem even when he knew he would get no favors from them. Paid a lovely compliment to Mrs. Coolidge which was richly deserved.
You know itís kinder nice to have our Presidents and big men get right down human and tell us what they are thinking about. But they should never be allowed to have all this time to do all this reminiscing. I tell you with all our boasted generosity we are an ungrateful Nation: we donít do a thing for our retired Presidents. I donít mean declare a pension for them. Itís not generally money they need, (though very few have a competent income to keep them in comparitive luxury for the rest of their lives). But itís employment; itís work they need. They should be paid a handsome sum but know that they were delivering something for it.
Who knows more of the workings of our Government than the man that has run it for four or eight years? Who knows more of our Foreign relations? Cabinet men know of their Departments, but the President knows of all Departments. There should be some position created where we could benefit from the knowledge and advice of a man that we have had in training all these years. It should be something where he would be a Member, we will say, of our Foreign Relation Committee. Now they are disscussing something that he is bound to know more about than any of them. For he has had access to knowledge that never reaches them. He could explain to them why it might be advisable to take a certain course, and give them reasons that before that might never occur to them.
He would have no vote so he couldent possibly be a balance of power. Not only Foreign Relations but various of our very important Committees Agriculture, Federal Reserveóeven if he should be of the opposite Political faith of his successor, (which donít happen often). His duties should not conflict in any way with the Presidentís policys. He simply expresses an opinion, an opinion backed by knowledge.
Then he would feel like he was a real benefit to his Country. It would keep him active, and would bring us back a thousand fold what we paid him. Make his salary at least fifty thousand a year. Thatís about what you can get for managing a little chain of Drug Stores, or a small Oil Company. Then it would also give him a chance while in office to give more and better service to us. For his thoughts would not be continually on what he was going to do for a living when he had to get out. He would know what he was going to do.
Now you have often heard about pensioning them, but thatís no good, (course it beats what we got now) but this scheme of mine is to keep him working for us.
I will take it up with Congress and if anything comes of it, I will expect my commission from Mr. Coolidge and also Mr. Taft, for the Bill will be made retroactive.1
Itís such a good Bill it will go through along with Farm Relief.
1For William Howard Taft see WA 330:N 7.
WA342 July 14, 1929
Well all I know is just what I read in the papers. Lindy was just out among us a few days ago and opened up his line to the East, I predict that to be a great success in the near future.1
Itís just a nice easy jaunt from New York, two nights on the train, two days flying, no tremendous long hops that canít be made, but just a fine sure trip, they allow themselves two or three hours for delays and then can make their schedule each jump. I came out over the line when I came west six weeks ago and I think itís the ideal trip. The only thing, itís awful slow getting on those trains at night, it looks like losing a lot of time crawling along on them. But by doing that you have no night flying, and it helps to take off six or seven hundred miles.
And speaking of Lindy, some of the writings of our eastern newspaper men have been trickling into my view and it brought to light a kind of a concerted idea to try and cut the boy from up around the heart of his country and re-deposit him down along its footpaths. I had no idea they took it so serious when he so completely made a sucker out of them during his late honeymoon. I was out here in the west and didnít get the undercurrent of rumblings that they were letting out, and trying to insinuate that he ďhadnít done right by our press,Ē that they had made him and that he was ungrateful.
Now we will just stop and take up that bit of propaganda right now. Lindbergh was made by just two things. The Lord and a Wright Whirlwind Motor. Newspapers couldnít have flew him from one side of a razor blade to another. They reported the fact that he arrived there. Sure they did, but donít you think the French would have found it out sooner or later, and eventually have got the news back over here to us, even if it had to gone by word of mouth? I think that sooner or later after hearing of it that we would have suspected that it was considerable of a feat without even seeing a headline of it. Somebody would have no doubt given us the facts of the trip by book, and it might possibly have been announced over the radio, for those fellows are awful scarce of things to talk about sometimes.
Our Savior performed some pretty handy feats in the early days and his exploits have been handed down through the ages and made him our greatest hero, all accomplished without the aid of a newspaper. No weekly camera man recorded his daily adventures, he had to receive his publicity by word of mouth. Still he become quite famous even during his lifetime.
I am making no comparison, I am only showing what has been done. For after all the greatest publicity and interest in the world is to be told about something, not to have read about it. So I am going to argue with anybody who says that they made Lindbergh. In fact the less printed about people sometimes make folks more anxious and more interested in them, so when he drove out through the gate, with his bride of only a few minutes by his side, and waved the boys ďa merry how de doĒ why I donít think he owed íem a thing. Any man that flown the ocean alone, and returned to his people even though they be Zulus, and couldnít read, they would have been awful apt to consider him quite a boy. Being a good navigator, did him more good than all the editorials ever printed.
But when we turn the tables, what did he do for the newspapers? We get a different story. He gave íem the next most publicity to the war, if he had been paid for his stuff at just a fair authorís rate he would have been the highest salaried man in the world, what would some millionaire newspaper owner have given him if it had been possible to have, bought and controlled the entire rights of everything that was to printed about him and photographers? They ought to change the Lordís Prayer to read, ďNow I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord Lindbergh to keep. If he should die before he wakes, I pray the Lord his picture to take.Ē He has paid their rent for two years.
No, you writers when you try to pull that boy down you are just trying to fill up the Grand Canyon with old chewing gum, itís all right to try and be different and not string with the mob, but before you start doing it announce that thatís what you are doing it for, itís not a case of ordinary hero worship. Itís that the boy licks you at every turn. He won more friends by the way he conducted his engagement and his honeymoon than he did by his flight.
The flight only showed daring, ability, and of course good fortune, but his last adventure, showed shrewdness, modesty, and 100 percent common sense. When her family had to ask the police for protection against the press, that just about threw the last doubting vote over to the Lindbergh column in favor of ďgive a lover a chance.Ē
He has never made a wrong move yet, everything he has done has reflected glory on his country, he has been a gentleman under some pretty trying times. And we must never forget the one great thing of his flight, (whether he was sent over as a stowaway under auspices of the Oolagah Banner, or whether the trip was a blindfold cigarette test) he turned Americaís mind to aviation, just at a time when we was on the verge of going back to covered wagon days instead of the air.
After all, there is a mighty little line between do and donít, a small margin between success and failure. His exploit just give us that little push that sent us over into the aviation line, instead of decided that ďit wasnít practical.Ē
No, letís donít tear him down, at least while he is living and conducting himself in the manner he is. Wait a few years and then show that he didnít cross himself at all but used a double.
Itís all right now in these late years to show that George Washington would have fought on the British side if they had given him a commission and if Grant hadnít got drunk he wouldnít have won the war. But donít denounce Lindy because he didnít marry the press instead of Miss Morrow.
1Lindbergh (see WA 338:N 1) helped to found Transcontinental Air Transportation, an unique, short-lived ďweddingĒ of air-rail transportation.
WA343 July 21, 1929
STAYING UP IN THE AIR
Well all I know is just what I read in the papers, Or what I see as I prowl around. You know there has been quite an epidemic here lately all over our Country of trying to break the endurance record for sustained flight in the air, by re-fueling while still up there. Of course the Army fliers really started the thing out in California when they were up for five or six days. Then two old Boys from down in Amon Carterville near Dallas broke the Armyís record.1
That was a great flight and they received and deserved a lot of credit. Well that record held till Cleveland Ohio could get a Plane and then two fellows from there went out and broke the Fort Worth Boys record. Well they hadent even come down in Cleveland till a couple of old Country boys from out at Culver City California went up and stayed till it looked like they was going to have to shoot íem to get íem to come down.
Now that is the flight I want to tell you about. The reason I want to tell you about it is that I was over there when it was made. Now in the first place ďWhere is Culver City?Ē Culver City is a mighty thriving little City right in the edge of Los Angeles. It was founded by Harry Culver, a young hustling fellow, and he is now the head of the whole United States Real Estate Board, and incidentally one of the greatest boosters for Aviation we have.2
He has his own plane and Pilot and flies all over the United States and he hasent tipped a Pullman Porter in years. And it seems a kind of a happy coincidence that he is the founder of the Town where this record flight was made.
You all, all over the world hear about Hollywood, and hear of it as the home of all the films, when as a matter of fact there are more pictures made in Culver City than in all Hollywood. This Culver landed some of the biggest Studios three years ago and they have grown bigger ever since. Itís one of the few towns that have not been swallowed up by Los Angeles. It and Beverly Hills. You see Los Angeles got all these adjoinging towns in because they had a fine water system and water in what is normally a desert Country is just about the whole thing, so they held this water over these other townsí heads and they had to come in to get some water. In other words they started the boys in bigger taxes. But old Culver City, and Beverley Hills dug themselves up some water and stuck it out. But letís get down to the flight.
I was working at a Studio not so far over from there, and we never paid much attention to these two fellows. We read that they were up in the air for one of these tests, but that dident mean anything. Every town that could get together two planes would send one up for a test and keep the other to reload it. Well some of them stayed up till dark and some got through the night, but we kept on gradually reading about how these two Birds from right under our nose at Culver City was still up. Well I got to driving over to see what was holding íem up and to see if they had a Stowaway on there.
But I think we are about cured of the stowaway craze, that last one just about killed it for all stowaways.
I happened to be on the field the afternoon they broke the record; then they had to fly one more hour to make it official. It was about one thirty in the afternoon when the refueling Plane went aloft to give them more gas, and let me tell you something about the credit for one of these things. Donít overlook the men that take up the gas. You know there is some mighty ticklish things about this continually re-fueling in the air. The way these fellows worked it, Paul Whittier, a mighty fine young Pilot, son of a very wealthy family out here who were the founders of Beverley Hills, piloted the Gas Wagon, or as they call it the Nurse ship.3
It was an old ďCurtis PigeonĒ with an old Liberty motor. Then Slade Hulbert was what they called the contact man.4
He had a hole in the bottom of the ship and had to lay down on his stomach in there and let the hose out through the bottom, first with a rope that the man in the other ship would grab. He was standing up through a hole that had been cut in the top of a closed job. He would reach out and get the rope, now here is where the great danger come in was to keep that rope or that hose from getting caught in the propeller of the lower ship. If at any time during all those contacts it had ever touched the propeller it would have been all off. They would generally have to fly out over the ocean to do the refueling as the air was more smooth out there.
One day they couldent get the old Nurse ship off the ground, and the boys above, Pilots Mendell and Rhinehardt were just about out of gas when another ship went up with no hose attachment, but just a rope and a five gallon can of Gas in a canvas sack and just lowered that over to the boys who grabbed it and saved the trip.5
Another time they got lost in the fog and the Nurse ship went up and they hunted each other for a long time over the top of the fog, which was twenty five hundred feet thick, they got together back down under it just as they were on their last gallon.
The boys got terrible seasick up there the first two or three days. They were sent up all kinds of stuff for it. Then as time went along they got stronger and more cheerful every day, and they always kept their sense of humor with them (they sent down some awful funny notes, mostly kidding about the old Mack Truck, as they called their ship they were re-fueling from). It was so hot up there they dident wear their clothes, just run the ship in their underwear, with all the windows open. They fixed up a sort of a blown up bed that they could take it time about sleeping on. You know when you just think of fellows staying up there and one lone engine going and carrying all that weight all that many days it sure does give you a great confidence in the Motors that we are using in Planes nowadays.
You know Young McAdoo, W. G.ís oldest Boy and his Partner, a Mr. McManus, were really responsible for this remarkable flight.6
There is a whole lot more to this than just saying I will go up and break a record. It takes a lot of cooperation and work and much planning ahead. But it all helps aviation tremendously, and it was a real kick to stand on that field and see them at the very moments that they were breaking the record, the longest that any humans had ever stayed up. In fact, I guess that took in birds and fowls too.
1Amon Giles Carter, publisher of the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram and influential civic leader of Fort Worth and booster of Texas.
2Harry Hazel Culver, Southern California real estate developer and bank executive; founder and builder of Culver City, California.
3Paul Whittier, aviator son of Max Whittier, California oilman and one of the original developers of Beverly Hills.
4Slade Hulbert, unidentified.
5Loren Mendell and Roland B. ďPeteĒ Reinhart, two West Coast fliers, set a world record for endurance flying in July 1929. The mark was broken less than one month later.
6William Gibbs McAdoo, Jr., naval veteran of World War I, graduate of Princeton University, and California businessman and sportsman; son of William Gibbs McAdoo, Sr., United States secretary of the treasury from 1913 to 1918 and prominent candidate for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1920 and 1924. A. E. McManus, Jr., British-American flier; former aviator with the Royal Air Force.
WA344 July 28, 1929
DONíT ARGUE WITH CHINA
Well all I know is just what I read in the papers. Things been going on pretty good the last few weeks. I knew things would pick up as soon as Congress quit. Mr. Hoover has stuck around Washington and itís away in the middle of the summer it looks like the Summer Resorts will have to look for some other add than him. The Black Hills, or the White ones are out of luck as far as the weeklies are concerned this summer. He kinder goes out there in the edge of Maryland, and Virginia some place and catches a few old cat fish ever Saturday. But outside of that he has been right on the job all the time.
His Farm board met a couple of weeks ago, and a funny thing happened. The day they met the price of wheat went up. But as soon as they saw the board wasent going to do anything, why it went back down again. They just met and kinder got organized, and we really donít know what they will try to do. They have got I believe itís five hundred million dollars. Itís to kinder help stabalize prices, or do something, anyhow the Boys are not working exactly what you would call empty handed. There will be some money put in circulation. But it will be passing by the Farmer so fast and often that he will think itís on a Merry Go Round.
Then Mr. Hooverís Prohibition Commission is all organized and on the look out to see if this drinking has been exaggerated or is it a habit. The Head Man of that, Mr. Wickersham I believe it is, he issued a Statement to all the Governors who were assembled and asked the States to try and help.1
New York and a lot of the others got their annual laugh. They wonít join in any enforcement at all. Well about all that that Commission has done is just to make that appeal. It sounds like it was awful reasonable, but it wonít get anywhere.
There are just little things that have been happening around home here, of course if you want to get out in the World and start making observations, why there is really something doing. China and Russia, while they donít speak the same language, have in some way hired an Interpreter and informed each other that a war would not be uncalled for. So they been drawing up the contracts. Nobody donít know what itís all about so you might say it is a typical war. Wars always start by somebody wanting somebody else to apologize for something, maby for something which the other dident even do. Then they Alabi it with calling it a war of honor. Maby neither one of them havent really got any more honor than a Rabbitt. But the old Propaganda gets to working, and the big men let it be known that the country has been insulted, and that they must arise and make the other nation take back water.
The same old Bull is going on in the opponentís camp, both sides trying to manufacture a national hate, that donít even exist. Now whatís Russia care or got to do with China. Both of them are the biggest Nations in area in the World. There is nothing either one has that the other wants. But they must have a war. Other Nations have become famous through wars so Russia feels like that is just about what they need to make the front page.
Itís supposed to be something about a Railroad in China that China owns, but they donít run it like Russia wants it run. Course, Japan she is watching to see where she can dip in to the best advantage, and we are watching Japan, and the first thing you know we will all be lining up and forming little alliances, and the same old combinations will getting togeather again. Diplomacy will start operating, and thatís the match that starts all the wars. Now how could anybody come to be having an argument with China? She is the most peaceful Nation on earth outside of Switzerland. China goes her own way, minds her own business, and would like to live off to herself if these other Nations including us would let her. But, no, everybody must horn into China. China never in her life had any private business. Chinaís business is everybodyís business.
Saw a picture in the Movies the other night of Ramsey McDonald the new British Premier.2
He was introducing his Cabinet. He has a lot of humor and a fine personality. Just think of those old Britishers, with all their pomp and tradition, having to be rule by labor. They grin and bear it fine for they are fine Sportsmen but you know it must be pretty galling to those old Titled ones. I would like to be over there now and get all the real dope from Lady Astor, she is the brightest Political mind I ever run into.3
They been having an awful time over in France about paying us the debt. But this fellow Briand and Poincaire seem to have finally won.4
They told the Chamber of Deputies, ďOne time Germany was at our very doorstep, and we asked the United States to help us and they did. Now should missfortune ever again threaten us, letís donít have them say, ĎNo once was enough for us; we helped you once and you dident seem to appreciate it, so never again.í ď Well that convinced the Boys that even a war debt has some grounds of equity. You see France wanted to wait and see how this Young Plan worked, (and by the way I want to remind you again that his fellow Owen D. Young that drew it up is still a Democrat) I just dident want to let it be forgotten.5
These Republicans grab off everything, and when us Democrats get ahold of something good why we want the credit.
So get this straight. Young is a Democrat, but donít make the mistake of running him for President, we want to have him well known for a long time yet.
Well thatís just about all the big news thatís happened in the last few weeks. Aimee has been away from us here in California.6
She went back to try and civilize Detroit, but give up. Young Senator La Follette is here.7
I had a visit with him the other day. He has a lot of the old Gentleman in him, and seems to be a mighty sincere boy.8
1George Woodward Wickersham, former attorney general of the United States who headed a famous presidential commission in 1929 that surveyed the enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment.
2James Ramsay MacDonald, British Labor party leader who served as prime minister of Great Britain in 1924 and from 1929 to 1931 and 1931 to 1935.
3Nancy Langhorne Astor, American-born wife of Lord Waldorf Astor and, as a British subject, the first woman elected to the House of Commons, serving from 1919 to 1945.
4Aristide Briand, prime minister of France from 1909 to 1911, 1915 to 1917, 1921 to 1922, 1925 to 1926, and in 1929. Raymond Poincarť, prime minister of France from 1912 to 1913, 1922 to 1924, and 1926 to 1929. He also served as minister of finance and held other high governmental posts.
5For Owen D. Young see WA 340:N 6.
6Aimee Semple McPherson, American evangelist who preached a Pentecostal, fundamentalist, faith-healing doctrine. McPherson, who enjoyed a great following in the 1920s and 1930s, was the founder of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel based in Los Angeles.
7Robert Marion La Follette, Jr., Republican United States senator from Wisconsin from 1925 to 1947.
8Robert Marion La Follette, Sr., leading progressive Republican politician who served as congressman and senator from Wisconsin and as governor of the state. He died in 1925.
WA345 August 4, 1929
SOME SENATORS ARE REAL NICE
Well all I know is just what I read in the papers, and what I run into hither and yon. You know I like to make little jokes and kid about the Senators. They are a kind of a never ending source of amusement, amazement, and Discouragement. But the Rascals, when you meet íem face to face and know íem, they are mighty nice fellows. It must be something in the office that makes íem so honery sometimes. When you see what they do officially you want to shoot íem, but when one looks at you and grins so innocently, why you kinder want to kiss him.
We got a young fellow in there that you have all heard a lot about, and maby lots of you never met him personally, although you would like to. Well thatís the way I was, I had always admired his Father, for he was a real fearless Fighter, with a world of ability. I expect he was admired more by his enemies than any man we ever had in public life. For they knew that he was on the level. Now itís a funny thing about off-springs in the human race.
Itís not like its animal neighbor. A race horse is almost sure to breed another race horse. He may not be as fast as the old Father Horse. But he will show a lot of speed nevertheless, and Dogs follow along in the make of their ancestors. You take a couple of pretty well bred Airdales and you can rest assured you are not going to get a Pot Hound. But with the Human race you may just as well throw your register book in the creek, for what the mating brings forth no human mind can even guess, much less be certain of. You are just liable to have some fine old stock bring forth a family of human Mutts as to produce an amateur Lincoln.
Thatís one of the main places where the Human race differs from the purely and totally animal. In nearly every other respect, the human race is just about on a par with its animal brothers. Given the same conditions they will both do about the same thing. In intelligence they run about even; in self preservation, they are 50-50. The animal will kill to improve itís food supply just about as quick as the human. The animal is about as untrustworthy as its 100% Human brother. So if it wasent for the breeding why there would be no reason to distinguish one from the other. We would just be classed as another breed of Cats, or Bears, or some other Species. But on account of us being so uncertain as to what we will produce why we are known as the Humans.
Human comes from the old Spanish word ďHuber.Ē Huberís used to be a Museum on 14th Street, New York. And they had everything in there, and from there they gradually got to calling people, Humans. Itís just a name and has practically no significience at all.
Ancestors donít mean a thing in our tribe. Itís as unreliable as a political promise. Able bodied Newfoundlanders produce Scotch terriers in the breed Human. A western range Mare is liable to produce a Man of War in our strata of existence.1
You just donít know what will happen. You just have to raise íem up till they are 22 or 23 and then start guessing. They no more take after their Father and Mother than a Congressman will take after a good example.
Mind you, I am not in the least criticising all this, for itís like everything else; itís for the best. If this Country did take after itís Fathers, God help it. Itís because most of them are an improvement over their Fathers is why we have such low taxes, good Radio announcers, and Farm relief.
But every once in awhile we get ahold of a great Father who begets a great Son, and this offspring I am referring to is of that very type. He looks mighty like he was going to pick up the old manís pack and carry on with it. I had met him before, that is casually. It was in a crowd and I dident want anybody to know that I knew a Senator. But the other day he come up to my place with his Brother in Law, and a friend of mine, Mr. Middleton the Playwright, and I had the pleasure of knowing and chatting for two or three hours with Young Senator Bob La Follette, of I think itís Wisconsin, or Minnesota, (I always get those two mixed up).2
But wherever it is, itís where Glenn Frank has charge of an experimental Laboratory, and instead of using Guinea Pigs, they used Football Players.3
Well Sir, this young fellow and I took up the Government business, just where it should be taken up, which is at the source, and I wish Coolidge and Hoover could have heard us. They would have learned something to their advantage. This Boy has got a lot of the old Father in him. He knows there is a lot ďHooeyĒ in Washington and they know that he knows it. I heard him make the best speech that was made at the Republican Convention in Kansas City. I donít know what he was doing there, he would have fit in just as well at Houston.
He has a lot of ideas that on account of their merit wonít get anywhere, and he is smart enough to know they wonít probably be adopted for twenty years. But he must get a certain kick out of suggesting them first. He is just the most pleasant congenial, square thinking, plain talking fellow you ever met. He donít feel that he has any great work to carry on, Has no cause. He was born and bred in Politics and knows you must give lest you wonít receive. He takes it serious but not solemn.
Itís just a pleasure to meet and spend the hours with him. He donít think the Country is going to H___. But he sees no reason why we shouldent.
My wife as usual summed him up in one remark, ďThat fellow would have made good in a legitimate business.Ē
1Man Oí War, American-bred race horse which won twenty of twenty-one races from 1919 to 1920 and set five American track records during a brief racing career.
2George Middleton, American dramatist who wrote numerous successful plays produced since 1902, including The Cavalier and The Sinner. For Robert M. La Follette, Jr., see WA 344:N 7.
3Glenn Frank, American educator and editor; president of the University of Wisconsin from 1925 to 1937.
WA346 August 11, 1929
THAT RUSSIAN-CHINESE WAR MAY FALL THROUGH
This Russia China War has had us all worked up here for the last few weeks. But it looks like they just canít work up much enthusiasm. In the first place itís too far away from civilization. (Wherever civilization is.) You canít sell any war bonds to people when they canít get over and see how their war is getting on. None of our other big Nations have enough concessions and interests in there to make them want to protect them.
Japan who would perhaps prosper more from a war of that description, they donít hardly know what to do about it. They have been fighting China for generations, and naturally feel that they have the exclusive privilege. They have whipped China so much that they have just gone by default. And they have already got about all of China that is any good. And they also hold a decision over Russia. So Japan is what you might call the ďSmellingĒ of the Far East.1
But in this case they donít know who they want to win. The one that wins will be much stronger, and might some day give them opposition. And unless they both whipped each other why Japan donít know who she would really be pulling for.
China has been awful nice to us, they have let us use their home grounds to send our Marines when we didnít have any other war on for them at the time. They have let us mingle in every private war they have had. Why there has been times that if it hadnít been for China allowing us to go in and shoot at them, why we wouldnít have had a soul in the World to shoot at. We have made íem keep what we call the ďOpen Door.Ē That meant that they wasnít allowed to charge too much tariff on our stuff coming in, or they wasnít to keep us out of any family feuds they might have. In fact we was taken in as one of the family.
They are the most self sustaining Country in the World, and would like to live and exist all off to themselves. But of course countries like us and England and Germany and France, we can see right away that that wouldnít really be the thing for them to do, so we have to go in and help them out. Some times we have to shoot íem, they are so hard headed and wonít see it our way. So we all manage their affairs so well that they donít have anything to do with their own customs.
There is five hundred million of them, that was at the last Census, which was taken on Confusciousí 10th birthday. Next to poor people they breed faster than any other race. Lots of them canít talk to each other, which is no great handicap, for they probably wouldnít have anything to say of interest. In that way they are civilized. They figure that there is enough Chinamen alive today that if they come to Los Angeles, and each bought a lot, that it would almost take up the amount that is sub-divided now. We send many Missionaries there. They go through Chicago on their way out. Missionaries teach íem not only how to serve the Lord but run a Ford Car. Then the American Agent sells íem one. You take religion backed up by Commerce and itís awful hard for a Heathen to overcome.
They are getting more civilized though all the time. They are not only learning how to use opium from us, but they are learning how to sell it to us. We control the Automobile Industry of the entire world, which kills off more people in one year than the whole Opium Industry in ten. But they are ambitious, and are doing their best to catch us.
There has been an awful lot of internal dissension in China. There has been a gang up in the North in Manchuria, that have kinder compared to our Democrats down south. They have been trying to get in and see what the shooting was all about. They are headed by some fellow called Chang.2
He is kinder the Al Smith of the Prairies.3
England has been awful nice to them and helped íem run their business even more than we have, if that is possible. There is one town called Shanghi that the Chinese were running it so un-English that the English had to go right in and go to the trouble of taking over the whole thing, and now a Chinaman has to come in on a Passport. English Gunboats are so far up the Chinese Rivers that it takes Chinese Guides to bring íem back down. If a Chinese Gunboat ever got in Radio hearing from Liverpool it would bring on International complications. When a problem comes up in China and the Chinese are in doubt as to what to do, why England tells íem.
Yet through all this they have lived and existed and raised more children than an Englishman or an American could even count. They have taught more love and instilled more respect in their families for each other, than we even have for the law. Now Russia kinder wants to jump on íem, for they figure a war would just about give them enough advertising that it would get them recognized. China hasnít done anything to íem. Thatís what makes Russia sore at them is because they have given íem no reasons to fight.
A war either makes or breaks a Nation, so you always got a fifty-fifty break. But I think since Russia got so hostile, that they have kinder counted China. Then too they have figured that itís a long way to go for the eggs. That Trans-siberian railway looks all right on a map, but you try to ferry an Army across it, and itís like getting across Fifth Avenue. But it wasnít so much that as it was that the other Nations just didnít hardly see their way clear what they would get out of it, so the war had no outside boosting. You know you canít get a war in a minute. It takes years of hard boosting and planning and scheming, and a lot more arrangements than you would at first think. Did you ever read Lord Greyís books, and all the other Diplomats ones too?4
Why there was a time there before the World war that it looked like it would fall through. So China and Russia will fight, donít forget that, but not till the Nations that are not in it decide that they should.
1Max Siegfried Schmeling, German boxer who held the world heavyweight championship from 1930 to 1932. The most successful professional boxer in German history.
2Chiang Kai-shek, Chinese general and political leader; president of the Chinese Nationalist government from 1928 to 1931, 1948 to 1949, and 1950 until his death in 1975.
3For this and all further references to Al Smith see WA 333:N 1.
4Edward Grey, British statesman who served as secretary of state for foreign affairs from 1905 to 1916 and who was a prominent figure in the diplomatic confrontation before World War I. His memoirs and papers were published in 1925 and 1926.
WA347 August 18, 1929
THOUGHTS ON FLYING
Well, all I know is just what I read in the papers. Now lets just see what has been flitting across these truthful organs front pages in the last few weeks. Course Aviation got a great boost when the German Zep come zooming in and on by. I would have sure liked to have been on that old Sister. Not as a Stowaway. I donít know why those birds get my ďNannyĒ so but they sure do. Let me see a Stowaway and I sure see red.
Itís been a mighty eventful last few days in that nobody has broken the refueling record. That seventeen-day thing was just on the verge of being discouraging to Aviators that wanted to stay away from home only a few days.
They opened up a line from out here on the west Coast to Mexico City and Central America. They just got íem going pretty near everywhere now. I see where Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, our great Ace (and by the way, one Hero who really never received anything like his proportionate share of Hero worship. I want to drop you all a line about that very thing some time and discuss it with you. He has never let a yelp out and has conducted himself in fine, high-class manner all these years since then), says that the demand for air travel in this country in the next few years will far exceed the amount of available planes.1
Here is twelve different and well equipped landing fields right here in Los Angeles, every one almost with a line running out to some place. Itís got by the boosting stage, itís in with the necessities now. It sure has been hot all over the country. Course these papers out here never refer to our heat. Itís always the amount of heat prostration in the east and middle west that make the front headlines, but just between you and I itís been so hot out here that the headlines of other heat waves have melted on the page while you was reading it.
I been working on one of those talking pictures, but itís been on one of the new soundproof stages and itís all air cooled, and we have had it pretty soft, we was fine till we started home in the evening.
But I guess itís been pretty general all over the country. I donít see how President Hoover has stood it staying practically right in Washington all summer. Course he went over in Virginia on what we learn from England to call the ďweek end.Ē But even when you are in Virginia you havenít helped out the District of Columbia much. He has been doing a little amateur Dam building on his camp up there.
He has been trying to fix one to make a swimming pool, but he hasent been able to get one to hold water long enough to get yourself wet in it yet. He has been away from construction work so long since he got mixed up in politics that he just canít get any real constructive personal work done. But he goes out and catches a few old cat fish every Saturday and feeds the renegade Senators that drop in over Sunday to escape going to services in Washington and to talk over the tariff.
Reed Smoot brings out some foreign and some domestic sugar every week end and shows him the inferiority of the foreign brand, claims Phillipine and Cuban sugar are whatís causing all the discontent in this Country.2
He lays all the late jail breaks on the lack of tarriff on sugar.
By the way some guy several weeks ago shipped some apricots back east and had them labeled that they were raised on Mr. Hooverís private ranch, and they sold like gold Nuggets. Mr. Hoover heard of it and sent íem word that he was no more responsible for them, or where they come from, than Dr. Mayo was responsible for that 18 day diet that they tried to lay onto him.3
That whole thing was got up by the Grapefruit Growers Association and has taken off less pounds and ruined more stomachs than anything outside of Carbolic acid.
Somebody ought to figure out a reducing process where you donít have to go through any hardships in the way of denying yourself anything but just slice off a chunk someplace. They take off an arm or a leg with no danger whatever, so in this plan they could remove it from spots where a diet canít generally reach it. They whittled down Peaches Browningís underpinnings by some outside process, and while I havenít been fortunate enough to feast my eyes on them, they say you canít hardly see where any has been taken off.
If I was one of these big Surgeons thatís what I would specialize in. My calling cards would read something like this, ďDrs. Moore and White, removers of protruding hips, remakers of body lines, distorted calves removed while you wait.5 Legs brought back with the bounds of garters. Why reduce and have it come off the wrong place? We level all bumps and you can eat a box of chocolates while we are doing it.Ē
I know just lots of Women that if they could get certain outer sections removed, as long as the Madula Oblong Gota was not disturbed, would fall for it in a minute. Besides look at the conversation it would give them after the thing was over. But that has nothing to do with what-ever I was talking about. I just happened to think of it and want to see it adopted, so we can start feeding Women again.
1Edward Vernon ďEddieĒ Rickenbacker, American aviator and airline executive who as a flight commander during World War I personally disabled twenty-six enemy aircraft.
2For Reed Smoot see WA 335:N 14.
3William James and Charles Horace Mayo, American surgeons who co-founded the world famous Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minnesota, in 1889. The brothers remained active at the clinic and an affiliated research foundation until their deaths in 1939.
4Francis Heenen ďPeachesĒ Browning, fifteen-year-old New York City schoolgirl who married Edward West Browning, a wealthy fifty-year-old real estate operator, in the spring of 1926. The couple lived together for ten months and then, after a widely-publicized trial, separated.
5Edward Clarence Moore, well-known surgical specialist and physician in the Los Angeles area and, later, a clinical professor of surgery at the University of Southern California. Moore performed gall bladder surgery on Rogers in the summer of 1927. Percival Gordon White, Los Angeles physician and specialist in internal medicine; partner of Dr. Edward Moore.
WA348 August 25, 1929
WHATíS HAPPENED TO THE CAMERA MEN?
Well all I know is just what I read in the papers. With Congress out of session most of the time, the Comedy is mighty slack around this time of year. Hoover has really been the direct cause of a lot of these slack times. Where is the Photographers that they donít give us some idea of how he is making out with the Finney Tribe? How do we know he has caught any fish? Monday morning comes and goes in our papers and we just as well not have a President. Where is the usual week end story of what the week end loot was?
Why, the Black Hills of Old Virginia might as well be the home of some defeated Democratic President as far as the publicity they are getting. I am kinder glad now he dident accept my offer to go to Oklahoma and take over the old Rogers Igloo for the mosquieto season. Where is the stories of the old Guides? Why for all we know he might be down there and not fishing at all. Well if thatís the case he could be impeached. He led the people to belive that he was a Fisherman before election. Now he hides himself away every Friday and even Dave Reed canít locate him.1
Why Reed Smoot had some defective sugar that he had received from foreign parts that he was gloating over and wanting to show Mr. Hoover.2 But do you think you could locate him? Talk about Lindbergh being ungrateful and not marrying the Camera men instead of his wife?3 Why whatís the matter with Mr. Hoover being unmindful of his duty to his Tabloids? Do you realize we havenít seen that man with a Perch in his hand since March the fourth. Why he is just liable to be out there vetoeing Bills or doing some other unnessasary thing, and not fishing at all. I think it must be the State of Virginia. They are ashamed to have the outside world see the type of fish that they have. And they donít want the World to know that they havenít got anything but an old Cat Fish.
Why you remember how nice Mr. Coolidge was about all this. Why he even took a pet Coon out to help us out on our stories of ďPresidential Life in the Wilds.Ē And here Mr. Hoover donít take nobody but Mark Sullivan.4 Why there is no story in Mark like there is in a Pet Coon, that climbs a tree backwards and wonít come down for the weeklies. Mark is an awful nice man, a fine newspaper man, and an excellent fellow. But for news for us fellows that are supposed to keep you all posted, why Mark canít touch a Pet Coon, even a Coon that ainít a pet.
But the summer is a drawing to a close, and the old Camera men are oiling up their tripods, and while he might go to Virginia to escape the Lenz, They will get him this fall if ever sticks his head out of his office while dodging a Chamber of Commerce deligation with an invitation to open some new Police Station. They may not land you Mr. Hoover in the middle of the creek with the long rubber boots on, But when you step outside with the old Prince Albert the boys will be pressing the bulb.
All we have ever read is a week or so ago Colonel Lindberg was out with him and drove him back to the White House in less time than he had ever been driven there before. But not a picture of them did we see, so where is your evidence? And it also said that the Colonel had won the Horse Shoe pitching contest out there wherever it is. Nobody donít even know where it is. Some say itís Maryland, and some say itís West Virginia. But anyhow wherever it was, Lindy heaved the old Mule Slippers for some tree point landings around the little peg. Now where was our staff Photographers? We want when we go into our favorite Movie Emporium see the Col. take off with a hand full of Horse Regals and start flipping íem for safe landings.
Course they are going to gather Congress in there again right away and in fact it may be done by now. So that the old humor will start percolating pretty pronto from now on. They are gathering in to argue over the Tarriff. George Washington argued over it with Thomas Jefferson. Columbus had a session with the Cherokees near where Claremore Oklahoma is now located. In fact, the tarriff is to the Politicians what Jonah and the Whale is to the Stand Pat religionists and the Futurists in religion. Itís just one of those things that will be going on when Jackie Coogan the third is Senior Senator from the great State of Los Angeles.5 Tarriff donít hit any two men the same. Itís like the weather. What suits you donít feel so good to me.
You want everything you buy to come in Tarriff free, you want everything you sell to be protected by having a tarriff on any of that same stuff coming in. Now unfortunately everybody in the Country is not in exactly the same business. Reed Smoot comes from Utah. They raise Sugar beets. So the Sugar Beet Boys have retained Reed at the usual Senatorís Salary to go back east and represent them in any controversy that comes up in regard to sugar. He donít care what happens to Peanuts, his mind is on sugar. So each one is sent there to dig something out of the National Treasury, or the people in general to take back to the folks at home.
You are a Politician just in proportion to the loot you have pilfered while there for the old home State. If you can come in with a Couple of Boulder Dams, a few Government Hospitals and Jails, and an appropration to build a road somewhere where nobody lives or wants to, why if you do all those things you will be putting yourself in line with becoming a Statesman. But thatís all as it should be I reckon. Itís there the money is, and they wonít pay off the National debt with it, thatís the last thing that was ever suggested. So as long as we are going to spend it anyhow why there is no reason why the old home town or Home State donít grab off what we think is more than our Pro Rata.
So thatís what all this Tarriff is about. Itís about Who is going to get something that the other fellow wonít. Grundy, the Santa Claus of the Republican Campaign, is working out what little we are to have left after Pennsylvania gets all it can carry.6 Lobbyists are reaping a harvest. There never was a time when a good Lobbyist was in such demand. A Lobbyist is a person that is supposed to help a Politician to make up his mind, not only help him but pay him.
1David Aiken Reed, Republican United States senator from Pennsylvania from 1922 to 1935.
2For Reed Smoot see WA 335:N 14.
3For Charles A. Lindbergh see WA 338:N 1.
4Mark Sullivan, American newspaper columnist and radio commentator who began his career as a muckraker but who later became a spokesman for conservative Republicans.
5Jackie Coogan, American motion picture child star who was immortalized as ďThe KidĒ in a Charlie Chaplin film of the same name in 1921; later appeared on radio and television.
6For Joseph R. Grundy see WA 332:N 2.
WA349 September 1, 1929
WASTE-BASKET POLITICAL SCORES
Well all I know is just what I read in the Papers, and what I have to personally get out and accidentally come in contact with. Last night I kinder went out of my territory in the way of Intellectual relaxation and got from the newspaper to the Magazine herd. I saw a Magazine on the stands with Mrs Coolidge and Myself as having contributed to its output, so I just feel mighty proud that I am in the same one as our much beloved Ex first Lady of our land.1
So I make an original outlay I think of twenty-five cents, and go home and start in. Not to read mine. For when I write íem I am through with íem. I am not being paid reading wages. You can always see too many things you wish you hadent said, and not enough that you ought to.
But I certainly was pleased with the one that Mrs Coolidge had. It was very plain and chatty and homelike. She told about having some rats in her Hotel at Washington where they lived when he was Vice President. I know this canít by any means be construed as an add, so I will name the Hotel, as it is where I always stop too. Itís the Willard. And rats go with each room but they donít charge you extra. Well do you know Mrs Coolidge told the nicest cutest little Rat episode you ever read. It was like one of Rex Beaches animal stories of the North, but it was just about mice, and two rats.2 The two rats were the father and mother, (apparently) of the mice. Just home talent animals.
She tells how she made friends with íem, how she fed íem, how they played around the room, and got in the waste Paper Basket and she would turn it over with them in there, and they would get back in again. The Coolidges stayed at the Hotel a short while after they were made President and the Rats were perhaps some Lobbyists that were trying to get in the basket to see what Bills the President had vetoed. Then she tells about the Senatorsí wives coming there to the Hotel to her ďAt HomesĒ or receptions. But she donít dwell much on that. The Rats get two pages and the Senatorsí wives two paragraphs. Just shows you which made the more lasting impression.
Now when a woman can make friends with a Rat she is not only humane, but very unusual. She dident grab her skirts and jump on the transom, she just went out and made friends with those little Rodents. She had been mixed up in the turmoil of politics long enough to know that with your husband continually running for office itís best to stand in with everything and anything, as you can never tell when they will grow to manhood and have a vote. She says they come back to the Hotel there away long afterwards and she looked for the rats but they were gone. Probably had a job lobbying for the Power Trust.
But you never saw a rat made so human as she pictures him in this article. She tells another thing that I sure did like to hear her say and that was the kindly and generous reference to Mrs Tom Marshall, who was the Vice Presidentís wife that preceeded her.3 That was one thing that first made a hit with me with Mr Coolidge. The first time I ever saw and talked with him I was taken in there by Nick Longworth, (also married) and it was the night of the Gridiron Dinner that I had come down to gab at.4 Well, Mr Marshall was one of the announced Speakers. I had never heard him, and was looking forward with much pleasure to the treat, for he had a great fund of humor, and something come up about him at our chat with Mr Coolidge and he said, ďMr Marshall wonít be there. I just got a wire from him. He and his wife was to have been our guests here at the White House, but he is ill.Ē
Then we talked a lot of him and how everyone looked on him as a mere Humorist when in reality he was a great Statesman and would have made a fine President, and should have been President at one time when Mr Wilson was incapaicated. In fact it was his extreme modesty and loyalty to the President that was all that kept him from being, as they all wanted to have the affairs turned over to the Vice President. Well Mr Coolidge liked him, (and he was a Democrat, and Darn good one too). His affection and appreciation for him made a real hit with me, and a year afterwards and Mr Marshall had passed away, I saw and chatted with the President again and he remembered our talk of Mr Marshall, and remarked on the misfortune of the passing of our mutual friend. Well Mrs Coolidge does them proud again.
But here is the main and the meat of the whole Article outside of the rats, and that is the inside story of the ďI donít choose to run.Ē We had heard that Mr Coolidge had not consulted Mrs Coolidge and that he made the statement to the Press unbeknowns to her, and that when it was repeated to her she was very much upset, as naturally one would be. Well here is a little inside story about it. When it was known that she did not know it before, why the folks in charge of Republican Skullduggery got their heads together and said, ďHere we better not let this get out. It would lose us all the Women vote in the Country if they knew he had done a thing like that without consulting his wife.Ē
So the whole thing was kept quiet till around now. For while he said he dident choose, he could have been induced to change his mind, and they dident want a thing like this to come out in case he did. While itís mighty nice and sweet of Mrs Coolidge to say that she dident want to know any of his business and had to read the papers to find out what he was doing. It just donít seem any too clubby with him to do such things.
When a man donít discuss things with his wife why it donít hardly hit the other weaker (Ha-Ha) sex any too well. If he didnít talk about his plans why it evidently didnít leave much else to talk about. Anyhow I know they kept it mighty quiet, the leaders did after Senator Capper told it, until after it was a certainty that he wouldnít run.5
1Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge, popular former first lady; wife of President Calvin Coolidge.
2Rex Ellingwood Beach, American novelist and miscellaneous writer, noted for his rough-hewn portrayals of frontier life in Alaska.
3Lois Kimsey Marshall, wife of Thomas Riley Marshall, Democratic governor of Indiana from 1909 to 1913 and vice president of the United States from 1913 to 1921.
4For Nicholas Longworth see WA 335:N 9.
5Arthur Capper, Republican United States senator from Kansas from 1919 to 1949; editor and owner of the Topeka (Kansas) Daily Capital, Kansas Farmer, Capperís Farmer, and other publications.
WA350 September 8, 1929
DIPLOMACY AND TARIFF
Well all I know is just what I read in the funny papers. Things have been mighty quiet along the Political front here lately. Mrs Poindexter kinder went into a huddle against Peru, but it was kinder short.1 The Sharge de affairs of that Country wouldent argue. He just up and packs his dress suit and went home. It seems she had brought some native Peruvian up here with her, and when he got here and found the price of ďMescal,Ē why he wanted more money, so he went to the Peruvian Embassy and they told him he should have more money and that he could work there for them till something showed up that was in keeping with his talents, so thatís that.
Mr Hoover took a lot of week end guests out, and instead of fishing as they thought they would get to, why he put íem all to carrying rocks to build a dam, so now he is having trouble getting week enders.
This fellow Phillip Snowden over in the labor Government grabbed all glory of the conference to distribute the dough that Germany is to pay.2 I donít know how much money he is going to get out of it but he certainly grabbed the front page and went south with it. You know I met him when I was over there. I first met his wife at Lady Astorís (and by the way she is a very brilliant woman, and has been a great aid to him so they say).3 Then I met him. His party was out of power then and he wasent very particular. I dident pay any more attention to it than to meeting a Democrat. But now I can recall him that he is back in again. Well you know England has been the Daddy of the Diplomat, the one with the smooth manners. But still be going after what he wants but always the Gentleman. You know thatís one thing about an Englishman, he can insult you, but he can do it so slick and polite that he will have you guessing till away after he leaves you just whether he was friend or foe. Well when this new Chancellor of the Excheaquer (thatís perfect English for Secretary of the Treasury) well when this Snowden Lad got to the conference where they were splitting up the Jack, why instead of coining a few polite phrases, he just up and said even before he had said Ladies and Gentlemen, he just said in what really was not their English, ďBoys, I am here for some more dough. In the divvy, I feel that the British Empire was handed the Hooey, and I am here to see that amends are made in a financial way. I donít want to be rough. I want to be a Gentleman as long as possible, BUT under the auspices of the Prince of Wales and the Kingís Royal Navy I am here for collecting purposes. Now it donít make any difference to me who pays it, but just let it be here, Get Me?Ē Well nothing like that had ever been heard since Heflin defied the entire Vatican.4 Here was an Englishman asking for something without diplomacy, in fact he wasent asking for it, he was just telling them whoís doorstep to leave it on, and he left mighty explicit directions, so they wouldent get the wrong step.
Well the other Nations went right in secret and meditative conference, and up to the time of going to press they are still passing the hat. They dident quite have the total amount but had borrowed some lead pipe and were reporting progress. I read the whole thing over and it looks like they got a mighty just claim. England wasent getting as much as Charley Dawes had given them.5 So for awhile it looked like there might be another war over the spoils of the last one. But anyhow this labor government has spoken right out, and they got the ďGentlemenĒ with íem in England too. Itís hard to unite both classes over there. For a Gentleman in England is a man that disagrees with whatever the laboring Party wants. But now they all agree, for this means money, and where there is money involved, (coming in) you can generally interest what is humorously called the ďbetter classes.Ē
Well our arguments are starting now. This Tarriff, itís what started Politics. Itís what started Partys. It split Washington and Jefferson, what will it do with Borah and Pat Harrison?6 Mr Hoover pulled a bad one when he ever let them kid him into promising to monkey with that thing. It was before election and he was trying to please everybody. All he had to promise to do was to get some sort of legislation to assist the Farmer. He dident have to have a grab bag for Grundy and his Pennsylvania Manafacturers.7 If there is one deed in Mr Hoover life he would like to live over and have another crack at, itís this same opening up that Tarriff debate. For twenty men can enter a room as friends and someone can bring up the Tarriff and you will find nineteen bodies on the floor with only one living that escaped.
There is only one answer to it. ďI want everything protected that I make, or raise, and I want everything to come in free that I have to buy.Ē So as no two raise, make, eat and wear exactly the same things, there is no two that would ever agree 100 percent.
Been having quite some little minature wars over in Turkey somewhere. Itís sort of a religious war. They are pretty bad, these big wars over Commerce. They kill more people. But one over religion is really the most bitter. Turks have been pretty quiet for some time now. They generally have quite a few wars booked, I never saw a year when they were so slack. So I guess this is in the nature of a rehersal for something they got coming up later. I want to get over there some time to see this Kemal Pasha, he must be a Baer.8 He made the Women change clothes, and anytime you can tell a whole Nation of women to slip on or take off, You are a MAN.
1Elizabeth Page Poindexter, outspoken wife of Miles Poindexter, former United States senator from Washington and ambassador to Peru.
2Philip Snowden, English statesman and Labor party leader; chancellor of the exchequer in 1924 and from 1929 to 1931; married to the former Ethel Annakin.
3For Nancy Astor see WA 344:N 3.
4For Tom Heflin see WA: 330:N 3.
5Dawes (see WA 331:N 2) was the principle author of the Dawes Plan of 1924 for the payment of German reparations.
6For William E. Borah see WA 337:N 8. Byron Patton ďPatĒ Harrison, Democratic United States senator from Mississippi from 1919 until his death in 1941.
7For Joseph R. Grundy see WA 332:N 3.
8Kemal Pasha, Turkish general and political leader; president of Turkey from 1923 until his death in 1938. Kemal Pasha, who inaugurated sweeping social and political reforms in Turkey, later took the name, Ataturk.
WA351 September 15, 1929
ELIHU ROOT KNOWS HIS ADVERBS!
Well all I know is just what I read in the papers. It seems like old times to have the Worldís Court bob up again in our midst. Just when you think a thing has about died out, why the first thing you know up it comes and it kinder sounds new, you havent heard it in so long. Mr Elihu Root, a very learned Lawyer, in fact second only to Mr Hughes as our most distinguished Statesman, is over there working on it.1 He has devised some plan by which we can get into it in a painless manner with none of the old objections.
You see since it come up before we have had time to study our neighbors on the other side of the World and they have shown us that given the breaks that they will be good and behave themselves. They all want us in, not for any monetary consideration as most of our objectors seem to think. But itís just like the fellow who comes to you and wants to use your name in some very profitable enterprize. ďWe donít want a cent of your money. We donít want anything you have. But we just want the privalege of your being with us, we like you, we donít obligate you to anything. But we just want to use your name as sponsoring our enterprise.Ē
Well that all come up years ago. And the Senate after discussing Prohibition, The Klan, Religious freedom, Mississippi relief, Nicaragua and Coolidgeís third term, they accepted the World Court but with such reservations that you would have thought it was a Pullman window, there was so many resevations being made. Cause when that Senate gets through resevating, Resevating is practically null and void.
These Resevations said in toto, ďWe the United States of Borah, and Reed Smoot, assisted by Grundy, do hereby and hereon agree to join this Court, BUT with the following clauses and How.2 We are to furnish eleven of the twelve Jurymen on each case. The Prosecuting Attorney and the Lawyer for the defense are to be either Elks or Kiawanis. We reserve the right to appoint the Judge, if we canít appoint him, we reserve the right to name the Nation that does appoint him. If any decision goes against us, we reserve the right to name the judgement that shall be visited on the said Judge, Jury and court attendants, including the Sob squad. We want the right to all radio privaleges, and reserve the privalege of appointing our own announcer. On account of high Republican tarriff we want to charge an Ad valorium duty on all witnesses that may or may not be intending to testify against us. We feel as a Nation that having saved the World for Wall Street and the Republican Party and Aimee McPherson we think it is no more than proper, (in fact we donít think it as much as proper) to demand these few little amendments, (and speaking of amendments that reminds us of a story. The eighteenth Amendment, thatís the story).Ē3
Well never mind let bygones be bygones. Mabel Jimmy Walker Willerbrandt wrote some awful amusing Articles and there is no doubt they will be published serially.4 Each day she said what was wrong with Prohibition and they run 365 days, (including February which has but 28 when Leap Year comes and gives it 29).
ďIts a funny Lane if it donít either turn or stop,Ē so we just kept right on making resevations. Whether anybody agreed to any of them was beside the point, we was out to make a record in demands. We demanded so much that Rockefeller, Ford and Joe Toplitsky even couldent fullfill them, much less England, France and Montenegro.5 (That Monte Negro was appointed by Congressman De Priest of Chicago.)6 De Priest says, ďIf Monte Negro donít make good in West Point, gets kidney feet and canít stand the march for the Movie weeklies, I will appoint a bigger and blacker Monte Negro. I picked the blackest one. But if he ainít black enough, we will cross íem with Polangus and breed íem blacker, and if you got a White Political Leader in your district throw him out, and put in a black one, if you canít find any blacker one than a White Political Leader why call for a change of venue.Ē These are the words of Oscar De Priest who says he has got more publicity than any man in Congress with the exception of Tom Heflin and Peggy Joice.7
We also demand in our resevations that Bobby Jones is not to meet, pass through, or even read of, anyone conected with Omaha, even if they are Brandies something else, so help me Calamity Jame.8 But as long as Gus Nations works for Prohibition, and his brother for the Griesedick Brewery, just so long will he be in argument with Mabel.9 But Mr Elihu Root has worked out a more injeanous scheme, and he has concocted a scheme of getting by all these various resevations, and here is how he did it.
ďThere shall be individual negotiations between the United States and the Council of the League in cases where the U.S. has any opposition to the proposal to ask for advisory opinions.Ē Now you can see yourself how clear that is. Why after an amendment like that even a child couldent help but join. Itís all so lucid that itís funny no one thought of that before. Just that little paragraph that I quoted above was all that it took to put us in Europe again. So now the thing comes back to the Senate all straightened out and they can during the discussion of it bring up Mr Hooverís summer Camp, Boulder Dam, Federal Reserve Percentage system, The Mediterranian Fly, local flys, Reed Smoot Sugar Baby Bill, and so we will finally get into the Court room, all for why? Simply because Mr Root happened to think of this, ďIndividual negotiations in case there is any opposition to the proposal to ask for advisory opinions.Ē
1Elihu Root, American attorney and statesman; United States secretary of war, secretary of state, and senator; after 1915, represented the United States on various diplomatic missions Charles Evans Hughes, American attorney, Republican politician, and jurist; former governor of New York, United States Supreme Court justice, and secretary of state; chief justice of the Supreme Court from 1930 to 1941.
2For William E. Borah see WA 337:N 8; for Reed Smoot see WA 335:N 14; for Joseph R. Grundy see WA 332:N 3.
3For Aimee Semple McPherson see WA 344:N 6.
4For Mabel W. Willebrandt see WA 327:N 2. James John ďJimmyĒ Walker, dapper and flamboyant Democratic mayor of New York City from 1925 to 1932.
5John Davison Rockefeller, Sr., American oil magnate who organized Standard Oil Company in 1870 and who dominated the industry until his retirement in 1891. Henry Ford, American automobile pioneer; founder of Ford Motor Company. Joe Toplitsky, Los Angeles realtor and insurance executive.
6Oscar Stanton De Priest, Republican United States representative from Illinois from 1929 to 1935; first black to serve in Congress since 1880s (see also WA 340:N 1).
7For Tom Heflin see WA 330:N 3; for Peggy Hopkins Joyce see WA 337:N 4.
8Robert Tyre ďBobbyĒ Jones, American amateur golfer who was one of the all-time great players of the sport; winner of four United States Open championships, three British Open crowns, and five United States amateur titles. Martha Jane ďCalamity JaneĒ Burke, American horsewoman, sharpshooter, and frontier character of the Old West.
9Gus Orville Nations, Saint Louis attorney and former director of prohibition agents in Missouri. In a syndicated newspaper series, Mabel Willebrandt accused Gus Nations and his brother, Reginald Heber Nations, of allowing the Griesedieck Brewery Company of Saint Louis to brew and sell illicit beer.
WA352 September 22, 1929
PUBLIC LANDS TO LET
Well, all I know is just what I read in the papers. Well, letís see what took place since we communed last week. One of the biggest things is the attempt of President Hoover to give all the lands belonging to the United States back to the Individual States.
But he recommends that the Federal Government hold all the Oil and Mineral rights. Well thatís just like offering a hungry man a meal and reserving the rights to issue him no food. You give him a plate and knife and fork, and you put him in a position to eat in case something shows up.
Course originally in our Country the Government owned all the land there was outside the original 13 colonies, and England owned that. Then Washington had a war and took it away from them and annexed most of it personally himself.
What he dident get a Democrat named Jefferson got. He was the most far-sighted Democrat in either his or any other time, and they named the Democratic Party after him. There is no reason with the start they had that the Democrats couldent just as well have been the Party of Prominence as the Republicans. The Democrats had the first start, and they could just as well have taken the part of Capital. But they took Jeffersonís high ideals. That is, he was for the poor but was himself of the rich.
So the Democrats wanted a wonderful talking argument, where they could get up on the stump (they had stumps in those days; that was before stumppullers were invented), and it sounded great to announce, ďI and the party I represent am for the poor man (cheers), and we believe in every man having an equal opportunity, and if elected I will personally see that he gets it.Ē (Cheers even more louder, if that was possible.) Now he would really finish with a big round of applause. But he never could get enough votes to keep him in free postage stamps. But thatís one peculiar thing about a Democrat, he would rather have applause than salary. He would rather be told that he is right, even if he knows the Guy is a liar, than he would to know he is wrong, but belongs to the Republican Party.
But all this has nothing to do with the Public land. Nobody knows why Mr. Hoover got it in for the states and wanted to sick the land on them. If the Federal Government canít keep it up, what could some poor state like Nevada do with it? Why, the U.S. Government owns 75 per cent of all the land in Nevada. Utah is next. You wouldnít think it, but Brigham Young and Mr. Joseph Smith only took over 53 per cent of the land in Utah, leaving the government (if my Rays green back arithmatic is correct) 47 per cent.1 The government owns 27 per cent of Wyoming, including the biggest party of Charley Irwin.2 Now these are all poor States. (That is, poor in financial standing, BUT RICH IN TRADITION.)
Now if you are going to force this extra percentage of land on them you are just going to make them that much poorer. Any time Reed Smoot and Senator Kendrick canít make sugar and cattle pay, why what chance has some poor state with no Senator on the Tariff Commission got?3 There is nothing that can break a man quicker than land, unless itís running a Grocery Store or dealing in secondhand cars.
About all you can do with this public land is make a park out of it, and you have to make roads into it if itís a park, and that costs you more than you can make out of the Soda Pop and Hot Dogs that the Tourists will buy on their way through it.
I tell you a Tourist is one of the worst, if not the worst investment there is. He knocks everything and buys nothing. He donít know where he is going only that he wants to get away from his own home. He is sore at his wife and family that are in the car and he takes it out on your part of the Country. A tourist contributes nothing but empty tin cans and profanity to the upbuilding of your State.
Now the Government wasent able (with all its Republican Tarriff) to build roads through these Public lands, so what can a State do? Even if there was no graft in the Highway Commission I doubt if you could do it.
So we just better announce to Mr. Hoover that while we as public tax Dodgers if possible, appreciate what he is trying to do for us, we just canít accept. That he will have to take these deserts and mountain sides back and put them under the Secretary of the Treasury as he is the only man I can off hand think of that has enough money to maintain them.
Mr. Hooverís argument was that he wanted to give the States individually a little more leeway in conducting their public affairs. But he had no more than done that then the Anti-Prohibitionists hopped on him and said, ďWell, if you want the States to run their own business why donít you let them run their own Prohibition business?Ē
Well, that brings on more argument. So it just looks like a President better lay off of things like that. I guess little Calvin had the right idea. He didnít let on he knew who owned these lands, as long as he could fish on them why that was all he knew about them. It only shows that no matter what a President does he is wrong according to some people, so I couldnít even say YES or NO if I was him; I would just stall along and if asked I would remark, ďI donít choose to answer.Ē But take it all in all itís a tough life, this thing of being President and trying to please everybody. (Well not exactly everybody but enough to re-elect.)
1Brigham Young, American religious leader who headed the Mormon Church from 1847 until his death in 1877. He directed the mass migration of Mormons to the Great Salt Lake Valley and served as the first governor of the territory. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church in 1830 and leader during the movementís early years in the United States. Joseph Ray, nineteenth century American educator and physician; wrote a popular series of algebraic and mathematical schoolbooks.
2Charles B. ďCharlieĒ Irwin, Wyoming rancher, wild west showman, railroad lobbyist, and race horse owner; a commanding figure and personality, he weighed 500 pounds at the time of his death in 1934.
3For Reed Smoot see WA 335:N 14. John Benjamin Kendrick, Democratic United States senator from Wyoming from 1917 until his death in 1933.
WA353 September 29, 1929
STORY OF A MISSPENT BOYHOOD
Well all I know is just what I read in the papers. Course football is getting all the play now and it beehooves us old Alumniís to get out with the cash and do our bit for old (I forgot the name).
I donít mean spend the money now. I mean get ready to spend it for later on when you see whether they need ends, or backs, or tackles. But get out now and go all over the country and see all the Prep school games you can and when a promising head arises why get on the job. Every time a good tackle is made go to the boy and explain to him the advantages of a free education under a splendid coach at old ďBohunk College.Ē
I was just a thinking what I would have to do if I was to start out to help out my old schools. ďDrungoulĒ was a little one-room log cabin four miles east of Chelsea, Indian Territory, (where I am right now writing this article).1 It was all Indian kids went there and I being part cherokee (had enough white in me to make my honesty questionable).
Now that school is not now in existance. Why? Why because the old Alumni let the football material fall down.
There must have been about thirty of us in that room that had rode horseback and walked miles to get there, and by the way it was a Co-Ed Institution. About half of íem was Coo Coo Eds. We graduated when we could print our full name and unumerate to the teacher, or Principle, or Faculty, (Well whenever we could name to her) the nationality of the last Democratic President.
But as I say the school went out of business. We wasent able to get games with was profitable. It seems that other schools grabbed off all the other good dates, and got the breaks in the newspapers. We couldent seem to ever be accused of proffessionalism. I could see the finish even as far back as when I was there along in 1887. I could tell then that the old Grads wasent getting us the material that we should have to complete for the big gate receipts. We could tell it there in the school.
Why I can remember when the Coach couldent get enough out of us 15 Boys out to make a team. We got to running Horse races in-stead. Why there was just lots of days I dident go out for Skull practice at all. I had a little chestnut mare that was beating everything that any of them could ride to school and I was losing interest in what we was really there for. I was kinder forgetting that we was there to put the old school on a Paying basis by seeing how many times we could get through that Goal with that old pig-skin.
I got to thinking well Horseracing is the big game, thatís where the money is, thatís what the crowds pay to see. But as years went along it showed that I was a Lad of mighty poor foresight. Little did I dream that it was football that was to be the real McCoy. Course we had no way of hardly telling it then, for we was paid practically nothing at all. In fact we had what I would call a Real Simon Pure Amateur Team. Course we got our side line, (Schooling) free. The Cherokee Nation, (we then had our own Government, and the name Oklahoma was as foreign to us as a Tooth Paste). Well the Cherokee Nation paid the Teacher, and I guess Rockefeller paid the Football Coach.2
But anyhow there was mighty few of us what was there under any kind of a guarantee. Course I will admit one of the Alumni got me to go there. He had spent three weeks there and couldent get along with the Teacher and he wanted to do what he could for the old School so he procured me. I looked like a promising End. I could run pretty fast. In fact my nickname was and is to this day among some of the old timers ďRabbit.Ē I could never figure out if that referred to my speed or my heart. But I, like a fool, dident make him put up anything, or guarantee me any privileges while at school.
Mind you, you wouldent believe it, but we dident even have a Stadium. Think of that in this day and time! Thousands and Thousands of acres surrounded us with not a thing on it but Cows and not a concrete seat for a spectator to sit on. Well you see as I look back on it now, a school like that dident have any license to exist. It had to perish. It just staid with books, such as Rayís Arithmatic, and McGuffy 1st, 2nd, (and two pupils in the 3rd) Readers.3 We had even a Geography around there but we just used it for the pictures of the cattle grazing in the Argentine and the wolves attacking the sleighs in Rusia. Well you see they just couldent see what was the future in Colleges. They just wore out the old books instead of wearing out some footballs. We was a printing our ABCís when we ought to have been marking down ďTackles BackĒ and ďLateral Passes.Ē We had Indian Boys that could knock a Squirrel out of a Tree with a rock. But do you think the Regents knew enough to get a Pop Warner and teach íem how to hide a Ball under their Jerseys?4 No. They just had the old fashioned idea that the place must be made self-sustaining by learning alone, and you see where their ignorance got them. Now the weeds is higher than the School house was, and thatís what is happening in a few places in this country. We got those same ďDrumgoulĒ ideas. Course not many but a few. They wonít switch and get to the new ideas that itís open field running that gets your old College somewhere and not a pack of spectacled Orators, or a mess of Civil Engineers. Itís better to turn out one good Coach then Ten College Presidents. His name will be in the papers every day and it will always be referred to where he come from. But with the College Presidents, why as far as publicity is concerned they just as well might have matriculated in Hong Kong. So donít let your school be another Drumgoul.
1Drumgoole was the correct spelling.
2For John D. Rockefeller, Sr., see WA 351:N 5.
1For Joseph Ray see WA 352:N 1. William Holmes McGuffey, nineteenth century American educator, best remembered for his series of Eclectic Readers for schoolroom instruction.
4Glenn Scobey ďPopĒ Warner, famous American football figure who coached at Carlisle Institute from 1899 to 1903 and 1907 to 1914 and at Stanford University from 1924 to 1932.